Luanda: Lucapa Diamond Company has discovered the second biggest diamond from its Lulo project a year after finding the biggest stone at the Angolan mine.
The 227-carat gem represents the seventh 100-carat-plus diamond recovered at Lulo and second only to a 404-carat stone discovered on February 4 last year.
The stone also represents the second biggest diamond ever recovered in Angola after the February 4 stone and is the biggest diamond recovered a new XRT large diamond recovery circuit recently installed at Lulo.
Lucapa managing director said he was delighted that after delivering the highest dollars-per-carat prices from run of mine diamond production in the world in 2016, Lulo had continued to demonstrate its ability to produce world-class diamonds. Lulo generated gross diamond sales of $70 million in 2016.
“It is fitting that within a week of the anniversary of recovering Angola’s biggest diamond, the 404 carat February 4 Stone, we have now recovered Angola’s second biggest diamond on record, our 227 carat Lulo gem,” Mr Wetherall said. Both were recovered during the Angolan wet season.
“We are also delighted to have recovered this spectacular diamond from a new mining area at Lulo which is 4km from the prolific Mining Block 8 area.
“This further underlines the potential there is for the remainder of the (roughly) 50km stretch of the Cacuilo River to continue to produce large valuable alluvial diamonds.
“Significantly, it also reinforces the game-changing potential of the kimberlite program we are advancing at Lulo, which will soon involve three rigs drilling multiple priority targets in the very areas where we are recovering these large premium-value diamonds.”
Mr Wetherall said the recovery of the 227-carat diamond through the company’s new XRT circuit also vindicated its investment in the recovery technology, which he said would have more than paid for itself with the recovery of this stone alone. However the company said it was yet to have the rock valued.
Late last month, Lucapa announced the acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in the Mothae diamond project in Lesotho for $US9 million. Lucapa is a 40 per cent owner in the Lulo project. Shares in the company were up 2.5 cents, or 6.67 per cent, to 40 cents at 7.55am.